Geriatric Vestibular Disease

On 20th October 2012, HC noticed that Jack had an abnormal head tilt to the right. He seemed to suffer a loss of balance, and stumbled to his right frequently, much like a ‘drunken’ man.

The vet said Jack has a slight left ear infection, but ruled that out as the cause of his head tilt. He said that it is a common brain disease in older dogs, and it may or may not resolve on its own. There is also no medication for such disease.

HC is not overly anxious about Jack’s vestibular disease, as he shows no sign of discomfort and is eating well. He does not have the other symptoms of a vestibular disease such as jerky movements of the eye, vomiting or nausea. HC is hoping that his condition will heal on its own within the next few weeks. She does not like the idea of putting him on general anaesthetics unnecessarily to have a CT scan.

It has been 11 days since the onset of the head tilt, and Jack is doing better. He doesn’t stumble as often and the head tilt is less frequent. Let's hope he will recover fully from it.

We have a house guest for the next two weeks.

I-tam was adopted by HC's friend earlier this year. Read his story here.

His owners is going on a 2 weeks' Europe holiday and naturally asked HC's help to dogsit him during this period.

I-tam has always been infatuated with me since day one. He was so excited to be staying with us, and I don't see any sign of depression or anxiety over the fact that his owners are not around hahaha...

He stares at me the entire day! I can't stand it!

(HC : Joey barked and nipped at I-tam so many times, but I-tam seems oblivious to the fact that Joey dislikes him.
if you noticed, I-tam is wearing a belly band cos he marks around my house. He doesn't mark around his own house, so I think it is because of my dogs' scent that he marks here. Even though he is wearing a belly band, he has to be confined in the play pen when I am out, as he drinks my dogs' pee! weird dog haha)

Above pic is only PART of what the owners brought over. They brought two beds, drinking bowl/bottle, and loads of accessories like hair brush, toothbrush, deodoriser, shampoo, disinfectant etc. The ultimate item is a HAIR DRYER!
HC was worried and asked if the owners are planning to leave I-tam here for good! For my sanity, I hope he goes back after 2 weeks.

Since this is our house, we had to stake a claim on I-tam's bed!

Me and my loyal subject.

Below is a very reluctant pic from both of us. I was giving I-tam the evil eye, and I-tam was naturally worried. Immediately after the picture was taken, I-tam jumped out of the bed to let me have on my own.

He is allowed to use his own bed only when I decide to sit on own (pink) king's throne!

It's been two days of intense shadowing. I am counting the days till he goes home!


In the office

HC has been extremely busy at work; and I didn't get to play fetch in the park as often as I wished.(HC : Joey's idea of playing fetch at the park is to demand for a new squeaky ball EVEYTIME he steps into the park. It is really expensive to bring him there nowadays! So I have resorted to letting him play fetch near my place and luckily, he is satisfied with used balls there. He is also getting physically older, so a ten minute of fetch game is usually enough for him.

It is true that my recent work demands had increased, and my dogs didn't get as long walks as they would have liked. On a recent Sunday that I needed to go to office to work, I decided to bring them along - it's like an 'adventure' for them!.

Dogs have super memory. The last time I brought them to my office was 5-6 years ago. This time, when I opened the main entrance to my office level, Jack ran all the way down the hallway and went into the last room. I had to recall him back as my room is in the middle of the hallway. It was much later that I realised that my previous room was the last room that Jack went. Amazing that Jack can still remembered which room I used to occupy after so long)

We behaved very well in her office, and laid quietly on the floor while HC was busy at her computer.

A little photo before we leave.

This morning, instead of leaving us at home after our breakfast, she took out our collars and asked us to 'follow her'. She said that she's leaving for a little holiday, and we are off to Scuba's place for a few days.

Us and our bag of necessities (shampoo, treats, balls and chew toys). The food has already been delivered a couple of days before.

Not too happy about leaving HC.

HC said she hoped Jack will be better behaved this time. The last holiday we had, Jack refused to let Scuba's caregiver put a leash on him, refused to go out for walks, refused showers, refused to do anything he was asked. The only thing he accepts is food!

New Love and Birthday Celebrations

We were not posting much as my HC has a new love....

She is always using this thing, and weird sounds comes out of it, disrupting our beauty sleep. Sometimes she laughed at it hysterically :(

Luckily, we were able to ply her away from her love for an evening to celebrate Scuba's birthday.

Attending the party were these 9 dogs (some appointed human representatives instead) .. the GR in the middle - Herbie is up in heaven, but I am sure he was there spiritually begging for food.

Can you recognise Jack and me? I was the JRT wearing red collar, and Jack is the middle JRT with black collar and big tag.

The place that we celebrated belongs to Scuba's great grandfather. They have a huge garden, and I went crazy playing balls for more than 2 hours!

Auntie V (Scuba's mum) made a huge cake for Scuba. I think there were yam, cream cheese, lamb, potato and some other unknown stuff. It really taste yummy!

Birthday boy gets the first bite.

After the night of partying and feasting, I was dead tired by the time I get home. 

Two days later, on Scuba's actual birthday, we had a quieter celebration. Actually, it wasn't much of a celebration to us as the fruit tart you see in front is for human consumption! Grrrr....

Happy 8th Birthday, Scuba.

Happy 13th Anniversary!

Yesterday's was Jack's 13th Anniversary with HC. Read the story here on how Jack came into HC's life 13 years ago. Since HC does not know when is Jack's exact birthday, she decided that the anniversary date shall be his birthday.

When HC first adopted Jack, the vet said Jack should be about 2-3 years. So that makes him 15-16 years old!

Oh my... I am 11 years old now. We are all getting old :( but luckily still very healthy and active.

Anyway, HC came back yesterday holding a plastic bag of food. However, we didn't give get to see it properly as HC said it was for Jack to share with his friends later on!

I was resting on the comfy seat while watching HC get ready to bring us to Scuba's place for Jack's anniversary celebration.

When we reached Scuba's place, Scuba's and Helios' mum gave Jack a surprise - a cake.
So Jack had two cakes this year (probably to make up for his lack of anniversary celebration last year)

The one on the left was the cake complimentary from Scuba's & Helios' mum. Seems that they have a thing for cakes in blue :)

HC also bought meatballs and cheese tartlets.

Our human godsister was happily singing a birthday song for Jack and grinning as she thought the cake was for her too.

hahaha. We told her the cake was meant for dogs, but since it is human grade, she can eat alittle of it.

The 'birthday' boy gets to have the first bite.

Later at night, a contented and happy Jack snooze in his bed.

HC : I cannot believe it has been 13 years since I first adopted Jack! It was an initially tough few months having him as he was a stubborn, aggressive dog who has no qualms about biting if he's not happy with you. My pride does not allow me to rehome him elsewhere, and I took the rough road to tame him through discipline, training and then love. I am glad we made it through.

Jack still isn't comfortable with too close contact with the other humans and dogs, but he's good enough for me. He has always protected me if he sensed I was in any danger. He's a small but tough dog.

I wish him great health for many more years to come.

Introducing friends

Last Saturday, HC asked Itam (my new MS friend) and his owners to meet with Happy. I was really pleased at the thought of them meeting, for a very selfish reason.

You see, I have alot of admirers and Itam is one of them. He loves me soooo much that it irritates the hell out of me. He would tail me incessantly, even when I am busy playing fetch. Many a times, I got fed up and nipped him. He would stopped for like 5 minutes than continued to harrass me.

So I was hoping Happy and Itam would hit it off well, and leave me alone with my ball!

The two MS meeting each other for the first time. They were polite and sniffed each other a while. Unfortunately, there's about it! They didn't fall in love!

*The lighter fur is Happy and the darker, smaller dog is Itam

Happy was happier asking for treats.

and pats on the head.

(HC : There was a moment when Happy showed who his friends were, and treated Itam as a outsider. It happened when Joey yelled and nipped at Itam. Out of pain/shock, Itam screamed alittle. Happy, upon seeing this, went up to Itam with his body rigid and growled at Itam. It's as if Happy was saying "Leave my friend alone!". Luckily, I was beside them and said "HEY!!".. and that tense moment went away. )

An obligatory group photo.
(Did u see how Itam irritated me even when we were posing!!! Arrrgggghhhh)

After an hour, HC decided to go home and unfortunately she invited Itam's owners back to her place to have dinner!

(HC : Joey played in Happy's garden for an hour, yet he seemed to have so much energy that day. When we were packing to go home, he held on to his ball and jumped into the car. When we reached the car park, he brought the ball down on his own, carried it all the way, took the lift and finally reached our apartment... never once did he leave the ball out of his sight.)

After the human had dinner, I played tug and fetch with Itam's owner. Of course, that irritating Itam never left me alone.

Even when I was resting beside HC's friend, Itam had to sit close by.

And what was Jack up to the entire night? He stole Itam's favorite orange bone and brought it to his bed to chew.

It was a really fun but tiring day. I really don't mind playing so much again, except without Itam, ok??? please?


Auntie SK is away for a trip, and asked HC to visit her dog - Happy once in a while to make sure everything is alright.

Auntie SK has a house-sitter to take care of Happy and the plants, but she is still worried as the house-sitter is not an experienced dog handler/owner.

So we went with HC to make sure the house-sitter didn't murdered/lost Happy while the owner is away :)

We went to Happy's garden to chill out.

First, Happy has to mark the garden stool as 'his'..

Impolite Jack marked over Happy's mark.

Luckily I had some manners and decided to mark another stool.

After much marking, I started playing fetch. Happy was trying to chase me initially but he was tired soon after.

After 10 mins in the warm weather, I almost fainted and HC made all of us sat on the bench to pose for pictures.

Close up of Happy sitting on HC's lap. He's probably thinking of his mummy and granny. (and of course the table scraps that the granny gives haha)

I hope to be able to visit Happy soon, as I love his garden!